Tuesday, April 9, 2013
My Life as a Novel.........or, When I Die
I am a big fan of flipping to the back of the book after reading those first few paragraphs just to see how the story ends. Let me do that for you now. It ends. This is what we never believe about life. We live as if the book goes on forever. As readers, though, we all know there is that one day when we close the pages, take a heavy look around, and mourn the loss of a really good story.
This is what I want you to know about MY story.
As the protagonist of this tale, I have enjoyed my share of triumphs, trials, and tears. One never knows in that first chapter which direction the pages will take. In the beginning, there is a good degree of possibility and potential for plot. Yet, there is a formula inherent to the writing that any good author must follow. There must be good guys and bad guys. There must be struggle, something which to overcome. There must be a climax, a point at which the reader feels she can hardly stand any more, feels she wants to reach inside that book and relieve her favorite characters of their distress, when she wants to make it all turn out the way SHE wants it to turn out. And yet, the story must continue in the way that it does. It must. And it will.
As for settings, I have seen many great lands. I have seen mountains and beaches and wide open spaces. I have watched the sun set over vast waters and watched it rise over others. I have watched the stars. Many times I have watched the stars. I have seen wealth enough to satisfy my needs and to help me satisfy the needs of others. I have also felt the burning sting of a cold home, an empty cupboard, a degrading stare. I have known cities and country and classic suburban sprawl. But you should know that I am not here to discuss setting. Neither am I here to discuss plot. I am here to discuss you. I am here to discuss your part in this story of mine, the part that you have played either knowingly or not.
Some of you have played major roles. Some just stepped in for a scene or two. Know that I am thankful for whatever part you played. To those of you who have served as mentors, have served to grow me in some way or another, to build me up, to educate, guide, or inform, thank you. Imagining this story without you is unbearable, an ending I never wish to entertain. You have strengthened me in ways you cannot imagine, reinforced my soul in ways I may have never shared. To those of you who served as peers in that process of growth, know that you have been as much a teacher as the instructors themselves. I have learned from you what I could not get alone. I have enjoyed the company and hope that, in turn, I have contributed in part to your own happy ending, to your own character development and strength of plot. To those of you who served as the antagonists of this story, those against whom I had to contend, thank you also. Thank you for building my courage, my grit, my determination. Thank you for not making this road an easy one, because we all know that easy never makes for a very good read. You have added color and depth to this story that otherwise would have been lacking. You have shown me what I am capable of, taught me critical lessons I would not have chosen to learn on my own. You were the bad guys on page, yes, but bad guys I grew to like for the good that you brought into my life. To those who broke my heart in one way or another, I cannot thank you deeply enough. Although that heart at times felt ripped in two, the pain more than I felt I could ever bear, I would never want to imagine my story without you in it. I am glad for the time we shared. I am glad for the smiles, for the love, for the chapter that is yours. Sometimes the deepest sorrows come from the greatest joys. Just know that I would never edit you out of this story. I would never rewrite your page. To those of you who filled my heart, you have no idea how glad I am that you decided to join me on this journey. It’s funny how physically small the heart really is and, yet, how very much it holds. Because of you, this heart of mine held more than you can ever know. You built me up, picked me up, encouraged, supported, and guided. You made me smile. You made me laugh. My heart was full. YOU did that. YOU did it. Thank you for that. To each of you who joined me in this story, you each have played your part and, if I might, I would just like to say that you have done a damn good job of it.
I know that now this story must end. It is time. So let us together close the pages, collectively take that heavy look around, and, as one, mourn the loss of one hell of a great read.